Apr 6, 2015

Reflections on 50.........

I think back on the last year and all the changes it has brought.  We moved, new jobs, new friends, new vehicles.
The boys have 1 more year of high school, prom is coming up, they have become mechanics, or at least serious apprentices, and they walk more like men than boys now.
I am a grandmother for real now.
Children are such handy gauges for us to measure life with, and I have recently found myself in long conversations with all of my children, (both real and acquired) that started with "Remember when......." and went on and on.
I used to feel I was drowning in children when my house was full of them and they spilled over into the yard and trailed up the street.
Life comes in waves, and eventually you realize you are the beach.
This beach is watching another wave on the horizon, there are more children in it, among other things that I cannot make out for certain, but I can't wait for those days of love, simplicity and noise to pound on me again.  The things they say, the things they remember, the things they will not listen to and have to learn anyway.
I think this last year has been a time for me to heal in ways I did not know that I needed to.  Life has slowed down and I have had time to be present in the last years that I will have "children" at home.
During this time my older children have become fully grown adults, and are now able to marvel that "19 years ago......." and fill in the blank with what seems like just a few months ago.
I can't tell you how great this has been, to be present as they got to this place!

This tree, next to my new house, is I believe a grandfather to the nicely shaped but sickeningly scented Bradford Pears that are everywhere now.  It doesn't have the pretty shape, and I think has much deeper roots, but the blooms are the same.  The berries in the fall are different.  We have been wondering what kind of tree it is and almost cut it down.
It has taken us this long to figure it out.
It has been glorious to look at and horrible to smell the past few weeks.
Flies buzz like crazy in this tree during blooming.
It's kind of scary when you sit and listen to them.
I didn't know why we let it live until last week.

She's old.  She still looks great but smells terrible.  But that's the way nature designed her.

Last week, with all the rain and wind, she started losing her petals.
Everywhere we went, we had petals blowing around, landing on us like confetti.
Everywhere we turned, our paths were strewn with petals.
I felt kind of like a bride, but knowing all the things brides still have yet to know, and I laughed out loud.
The petals did not smell bad, just looked pretty.
And I thought it a charming addition, despite the buzzing of the flies.
That is how charming I found it.
And I thought that I was definitely following a path, even if I did not know where it would lead, and that it was good and right.

We have been confetti'd, every way we turn.

It's made for a magical time.  One day it's cold and rainy, we can hear the rain beating down on the roof as we watch the fire.

White stuff in your hair?  NOT dandruff!!  Look closely and you will see petals in the air.

The next day it's warm and sunny, you open the door to go out and white petals are cascading down and blowing around in little eddies on the wind.  They land in your hair, brush against your eyelids, sit on your shoulders, get stuck in your hair, and have lined the path you are about to embark on.
No matter which way you go.
It occurs to me that which path you take matters naught; it is the going that matters.
I have the strong feeling all paths lead to the same place in the end.

More leaves than petals this week.

That tree is going to live.
As must I.
Not to mention an entire new generation of little girls (so far) that have need of magical petal floating in the air and lining their paths. No matter which one they take.
I think I may have been appointed as one of the ladies that points these things out, and sets up tea parties on the lawn.
With umbrellas, and matching rubber rain boots.
This lady may have gray hair, and a long braid.  
This is about all that I need to decide on in the near future.

A slightly better shot of the floating petals.

Everywhere you go, everything has been festooned with petals.
The bulbs are blooming gloriously.
I need to decide what to put in that hanging, petaled, pot.
But not today.  There is no hurry.

White has been added to all the colors, in polka dot shapes

I think it is healing all of us to be here.  We have different family closer, now, and can just run into them, which we are getting used to.
And while we have been very busy, we haven't been tied to rigid schedules.
This has allowed room for trying new things without the stress of whether these things will work out or not.
In a fit of hopefullness, I threw an onion and some garlic that had sprouted in my refrigerator in pots this week and set them outside.

Well, hello onions!

And just look what happened!
I didn't even try.
Sometimes things just work out.
No one knows why, they just do.

Tulips on deck!

The tulips are getting dressed for the show they will put on very soon, and just like at the other house, I have a white lilac in front and a purple lilac in back.  This may sound crazy to you, but those were 2 of the things I loved most about that house, and the symmetry here is comforting and feels right to me.
One more day of sunshine and BAM!  We are going to have lilacs!!
I had to give up a lot, but none the most important things to me have been lost.  What I have gotten in return is so vital and precious to me that I cannot not put it into words and pictures do not do it justice.

The other morning was so nice I just had to run down the road and be by the water.  Water runs freely though out the land of Lindy and white feathers, cascading, trickling, sometimes roaring, but always, always present and moving, the sun shining off the smallest of ripples.  The flowers were blooming, the grass was so green, and there just comes a certain day, I remember from when I was small, that you are compelled to get out and "smell the creek".

"He maketh me lie down in green pastures..........

It's not an elegant phrase, but it's the bottom line way I thought of it as a child, at my most basic and honest self.
In those days, part of almost every day was spent at a creek.  With rock bottoms, endless jewels to be discovered and sorted.  Tadpoles to be watched and sometimes caught.  Crawdad's to have sword fights with once you discovered their hole.  Small fish nibbling on your toes, turtles sunning themselves in the heat of the sun, and the only lotion slathered on us was sun "tan", not sun "block".

He leadeth me beside the still waters......

You see it, you hear it, you feel it, you smell it.
It surrounds you, in every way, and everywhere you look, everything is just right with the world.
There's no other way to put it.  There are no clocks here, the sun and the moon keep the time.
Time goes slowly, and you breathe easy.

I have spent years of my life sitting on a beach just like this.  I am so blessed.

As I turn 50, I find myself recognizing that most basic and honest self more and more often.
It's been a long time since I have seen her.
The person I was long before I became an adult or parent.  My hair is back to what it was before I spent countless hours and dollars to make it look like something it, in fact, was not.
The things that are most important to me cannot be bought with money.
Words get in the way of instinctive understanding.  Can you remember a time when  your thoughts were not formed in words in your head, let alone complete sentences?

He restoreth my soul........

If you can't, you should go back to the places where you were very young.
Or maybe you have to get to be a certain age before you will remember that part.
Life asks a lot of us, at different times, and in different ways.
But it's always in flux, whether you realize it or not.
Eventually, your children grow and have lives of their own.
You love them more than ever, and they bring you joy in ways you never expected.
But now you get your solitude back. Time to dream, time to consider, time to plan, again.
Time to think, or work, or just "be", without interruption or distraction.

I think this is part of the design.

Sunlight on just one branch of a huge and beautiful bush.  See what I did there??

Life is always taken one day at a time, whatever phase we are in.
But I have reached the age where I watch calmly for what comes next and take it in stride.
Gone are the days where I ran around, anxious to please, fearful of disapproval, worried about how it would all turn out.
Been there, done that.  It's over.  It was fun but it's over.
The next phase of my life will be much calmer and more joyful.
Whatever it is.  I'm going to just appreciate whatever it is.
It's a surprise!
I'm just going to enjoy every day and watch it all unfold, like the grass and the bulbs and the babies.
Everything has it's own path, design, and journey.
I already know it will turn out.
It always does.